The project will not have any adverse effect on the surrounding properties because the exterior
portion of the remodel does not increase the footprint or height of the building. The exterior
remodel includes the façade of the building. We have worked closely with the San Francisco
Planning Department’s historic preservation planners to voluntarily replace the facade to match
the historical design of the past. SPARC is known for improving the neighborhood in which it’s located. SPARC hosts a community clean-up where members and staff together go into the neighborhood and pick up trash, litter and sweet our sidewalks. This program beautifies the neighborhoods in which we’re located for our members and the neighbors alike.
The land-use for 473 Haight Street was grandfathered in by the previous tenant, as such the proximity of the dispensary to John Muir Elementary in not at issue before the Planning Commission. Minors and those without a doctors written recommendation are not permitted access to any medical cannabis dispensary.
To be clear, the land use right for 473 Haight Street is such that medical cannabis sales are already approved. That was approved by the city with the previous tenant and is not in question. What is in question is whether or not SPARC can remodel the interior of the building and improve the facade. In other words, the upcoming Planning Commission hearing (August 4th), will only be considering our permit to remodel the building, not the land entitlement to sell medical cannabis at the site. Those in opposition at the hearing are opposing the building remodel, not the dispensary from opening. Many neighboring businesses and residents will be speaking in favor of SPARC at the hearing. In our experience reaching out to neighbors over the past several months, many in the neighborhood support having a SPARC here. In addition, most agree that they would prefer to have a nice remodeled cannabis dispensary under the SPARC brand rather than operating the dispensary building “as-is” which is what’s being considered at the upcoming Planning Hearing (August 4th).
SPARC is a model cannabis dispensary that is considered by the San Francisco Department of Public Health as the “gold standard” for dispensary operations. As of August 2015, SPARC has acquired a former dispensary at 473 Haight Street with the intention to remodel the site to be a branded a SPARC dispensary facility.
SPARC has submitted a building permit application to the San Francisco Planning Department to remodel the interior and exterior of the building. We have worked closely with the San Francisco Planning Department’s historic preservation commission to voluntarily restore the facade facing Haight Street to retain its rich historical building fabric to match the history and culture of the neighborhood.
The 473 Haight Street location will undergo renovation upon approval of our building permit application. As with any SPARC facility, our application to the Planning Department proposes a professional façade and design that lends favorably to beautifying the local area and preserving its historic values
In September of 2016, SPARC launched a comprehensive community outreach and engagement plan to understand the challenges and needs of the Lower Haight neighborhood, home of the proposed location at 473 Haight Street. The outreach not only informed neighbors of the proposal, but helped gather feedback about the proposal and neighbors’ experience with other dispensary facilities. As a result of these meetings, some changes we adopted to meet the hopes and desires of the community. It was also determined that many business neighbors and residents want a SPARC in the neighborhood
SPARC ensured thorough community outreach through a manifold approach:
• Meeting neighbors – SPARC canvassed the neighborhood, going to each door within 300 feet of the proposed location, twice, leaving flyers at each door inviting neighbors to attend a community meeting on the project.
• Connecting with Community Organizations – SPARC reached out to 9 community organizations, including the most local and prominent LoHaMNA – which now endorses SPARC’s application.
• Hosting two SPARC Community Meetings – SPARC held two open houses located on the same block as the project in November and December of 2015 for community members and neighboring business alike – many of expressed their support.
The SPARC at 473 Haight Street will serve the local patient community by providing a patient-focused dispensary that operates in an identical manner to our first dispensary located at 1256 Mission Street. The dispensary will be staffed with educated professionals that provide in-depth consultations and product information to patients.
SPARC places a high premium on operating a safe and secure facility. Our trained safety staff limits access to only qualified patient members and serves as steward of the neighborhood against more minor, but critical issues, like double parking and loitering.
We recognize and accept heightened expectations for our new facility and have worked closely with the neighborhood and community organizations to implement the desires of the community on our project. We look forward to continuing to engage the residents, neighborhood groups, and businesses as we approach the hearing, as well as being a long-term partner in this community just as we are in others.